Kimberly-Clark Rolls Out Tube-Free Toilet Paper

Scott Naturals Tube-Free Toilet Paper

There aren’t many exciting developments in the toilet paper industry. Kimberly-Clark is trying to change that with Scott Naturals Tube-Free, a line of tube-free toilet paper set to debut Monday at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores throughout the northeastern U.S. Not that exciting, you say? Consider this: Kimberly-Clark estimates that the 17 billion toilet paper tubes produced each year in the U.S. generate 160 million pounds of trash, or enough tubing to stretch over a million miles when placed end to end.

Tubeless toilet paper apparently isn’t as easy to make as it sounds–in an interview with USA Today, Doug Daniels, brand manager at Kimberly-Clark, refused to explain the tubeless toilet paper’s “special winding process,” though he did say that it’s similar to a process used on bath tissue that the company sells to businesses.

This is just the latest in a series of moves made by the toilet paper giant to appease its environmentally aware detractors. Last year, Kimberly-Clark agreed to source 100% of wood fiber used in its tissue products from sustainable sources. The Scott Naturals line, which also debuted in 2009, features toilet paper containing 40% recycled material. The one exception to that is the tubeless toilet paper, but Kimberly-Clark says future versions will contain more recycled content. That is, if customers decide to welcome the tubeless toilet paper revolution.

Ariel Schwartz can be reached on Twitter or by email.